Why Air Conditioners in Offices Top My Hate List

Office air conditioners were never designed, or are operated keeping women workers in mind.

Updated31 Jul 2015, 12:37 PM IST
Social Buzz
3 min read

The weather in New Delhi is awesome right now. Overcast skies, yet no heavy rains, but breezy. As I stare outside my office building, how I wish I was out there than sitting in front of my computer. Not because I don’t want to work (Okay. FINE. Maybe). It’s because I’m freezing, hoping that the words arrange themselves into coherent sentences.

That’s right, I’m not the only one who’s got her denim jacket on when it’s 32 degrees outside. I look around and see many of my female colleagues either draped in shawls (mind you, woollen shawls) and jackets. Some have even kept their woollen booties under their desk. So much so, it’s easier to identify a woman’s workdesk than a man’s because, there’s always chair with a jacket hung on it.

Meanwhile, men are just being men, chilling in their cotton shirts, sleeves rolled-up.

So here’s why I hate the freaking low AC that freezes my brain.

It’s Getting Cold in Here

Not cool! (Photo: <i>The Quint</i>)
Not cool! (Photo: The Quint)

How does one even work if she’s layered up? Socks, jackets, shawls and whatnot. If you think that’s the only problem, it’s not. It’s freaking irritating when you have colleagues coming up to you and asking, “You’re feeling that cold, Aah?”.

I nod politely.

My Inner Voice: “No, you fool. I love dressing like a polar bear in summer.”

Take a Break

Kaafee&nbsp;ho gayi hai. (Photo: <i>The Quint</i>)
Kaafee ho gayi hai. (Photo: The Quint)

I’m on my third cup of tea as I write this article. Given that you can surely imagine how many times I would have warmed the toilet seat. You think it’s funny? No, it’s NOT. There is a momentum with which you write, and suddenly there is another that’s building up inside you. You tend to lose the flow. What could be worse is, every time your superior wants to have a word with you regarding an article, you’re not at your desk.  And you could be tagged as “that girl who takes too many breaks”.

Changing Mercury Levels

How sick! (Photo: <i>The Quint</i>)
How sick! (Photo: The Quint)

It’s a known fact that sudden changes in temperature inevitably make you sick. So imagine nine hours of your day spent in Alaska-like temperatures (your office), and another 5 in temperatures that probably prevail in the Thar Desert (the scorching Delhi heat). You’lll obviously fall sick! And one fine day you realise that you’ve used up all your sick leaves.

Erroneously Cold

Hmmm, how about that? (Photo: <i>The Quint</i>)
Hmmm, how about that? (Photo: The Quint)

Cold-struck workers make more errors and are less productive, according to Alan Hedge, professor of design and environmental analysis and director of Cornell’s Human Factors and Ergonomics Laboratory, who studied office temperatures about a decade ago, quoted in the Washington Post.

So please, if you spot any errors in this article, forgive me, you know the reason behind them.

Liked this story? We'll send you more. Subscribe to The Quint's newsletter and get selected stories delivered to your inbox every day. Click to get started.

The Quint is available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, click to join.

Published: 31 Jul 2015, 12:02 PM IST
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!